Most of what I wrote in 2013 was for the silly little Oi! Is This Punk Rock blog I started as a silly idea in March to rip off Andrew Ti’s Yo! Is This Racist and tell people whether things were punk rock or not. I ended up writing well over 100000 words, indulging in a bunch of idiot one-liners, bizarre rants and flights-of-fancy and even occasionally making a serious point about how I felt about something. These are a couple of my favourite posts.
What is Punk Rock? Probably everything I’ve ever written has been in some way dedicated to answering, or at least dancing around, this question. This might be as close as I get to a fairly succinct answer for a while.
Aaron Sorkin. Sometimes you just gotta spend the early hours of Sunday morning writing a 3000-word punk-based Aaron Sorkin parody. Love the West Wing and Sports Night, hate Studio 60 and The Newsroom.
Hip-Hop: When I was 18/19 I sketched out plans for a university dissertation entitled Hip Hop and Punk Rock: Parallel Counter Cultures, which never came to fruition, luckily, because it would’ve been shit.
Butt stuff: Butt stuff.
This is currently on hiatus as it often is. Return is possible but probably not imminent. My favourite strips I had a hand in are these ones.
This silly wordless Doom logo joke. Some of the strips gestate for a long time before they become workable. This one just popped into my head and I immediately thought ”Wow. That is terrible,” sent it to Mitch and a day later it was on the site.
Ramones Album Covers. I kind of like the strips where I managed to do a visual joke more than a quick turn of phrase or a pun or a rant (see also the Doom joke) because my visual sensilibities in terms of the way I perceive art and whatnot are way less developed than the pure literary/writing side of things, so I was proud of myself whenever I managed to craft something that did not rely on obtuse crustpunk wordplay and obviously Mitch fucking kills it on the art
Up the Puns. Alright, I like the puns too. Mainly enjoy this one because “WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE GEORGES PEREC!” is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever written.
An Unjust World. I like this one cos it manages to sum up the emotions I feel whenever a band I like breaks up, plus it’s got violence, a Naked Raygun throwaway line and Mitch added the surrealness of the City Hall coke party which just tops it off for me.
Conforming to Non-Conformity. I wrote this one in 2011 but it didn’t go up to and people fucking HATED IT or outright didn’t get it and chimed in with “YEAH! CONFORMITY TO NON-CONFORMITY IS JUST ANOTHER FORM OF CONFORMITY!” as if the point of the strip wasn’t that that sentiment is the most unoriginal entry-level shit ever. As the creator of something you’ve got to take a lot of the blame when people miss the point of something so widely, so it probably should’ve been sharper, or maybe just the strip’s readership is made up of those people who blindly hate punkcore stud-and-spikes gutterpunx while all wearing flannel and drinking the same beer, considering we made fun of crusties like a week later and people went “I LOVE IT! A STAGGERING RETURN TO FORM!”
Columbo. I often write dumbass pop-culture based pop-punk songs in my head for fun. This year I found an outlet for that.
Didn’t write too much for my main music-based blog, until December when I decided to cram almost all the stuff I didn’t write into one month, cos I’m an idiot like that.
Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten. This is a band I was super into about 4-5 years ago, when they made catchy poppy melancholic punk anthems, and they moved away from that into possibly my least-favourite genre: soft rock, and hit self-parody quicker than almost any group I can think of, and I didn’t really mind, because they weren’t a band that ever seemed to look like they weren’t going to do that. I listened to a couple tracks of the new album out of curiosity and just got bored and decided to ignore it. Then someone asked me for a track-by-track review and I said “Why not?” What followed was probably the most fun I’ve had writing for ages. Been a while since I really sat down and pointlessly eviscerated something truly shit. This review led to more blog traffic than anything positive I’ve written, so while the shit that you hate don’t make you special, it does get you attention if you swear enough about it. Also resulted in my first deaththreats SO I’M A REAL WRITER NOW!
The Queers - Fuck the World. I just kinda like this one. It’s sweet and goofy.
End of year reviews: Too close to most of these end-of-year bits to really know how I feel about them, but I do like the D-Clone one because that had been knocking around since I saw them in October and it’s as purposefully over-the-top and dramatic as their music is, and I think I got to the bottom of my love for the Hank Wood album pretty well, in one of those cases where I knew that I loved the album, but I didn’t really get why (beyond, “IT’S LIKE THE MUMMIES!”) til I started writing about it.
Fullthrottlelazy: Managed to get 24 episodes of a podcast this year, which is good fun. Lost a bunch of episodes though in a computer crash and Mediafire takedowns, so that blows. Also did some band rehearsals which were fun. Hopefully gonna get some more of that next year, get a demo down.
One Punk Song a Day: One punk song a day.
Coolest things that happened this year. Tuesday May 22nd, which was a perfect day. Or in June when I went and saw Guitar Wolf, one of my favourite bands of all time, and they pulled me out of the crowd to play guitar on stage with them. Still when I look back on it feels unreal.
Shittiest things that happened this year: Finally getting to see Cock Sparrer and missing 90% of their set due to public transport. Not having enough cash to make it to the US this year.
2013: In 2012 I did not write a lot of fiction, letting most of what I had on that front stagnate so in 2013 I’m hopefully gonna rip some of those open and twist them into something workable, and I’ve got some new ideas bouncing about to work with. Also maybe punching the Is This Punk Rock? stuff into the shape of a book, and finishing off some long Some Days… posts on Screeching Weasel, Hickey, Fancy Pants and the Cellphones and maybe even AM! that have been slowly coming together for forever. Lifewise, in 2012, I qualified as a teacher, made some friends, did some more readings, got recognised in public by someone who reads my stuff, started work on a totally goddamn sweet punk rock jacket and got a tolerable job. In 2013 I’m getting out of this town and country, seeing Framtid and getting married to the love of my life, awwwww.